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Anyone fancy starting Couch to 5K on Monday 5th Aug?

(691 Posts)
workatemylife Tue 30-Jul-13 10:39:24

I have not run for YEARS. In the last 18 months I have lost a lot of weight through diet and exercise (walking), and, it would appear, breastfeeding. But I'm back at work, LO isn't drinking me dry any more, my diet is not all that it could be, and the weight is sneaking back on. I don't have the opportunity for long buggy walks with a gurgling baby to toddler groups and playparks, but I do try to cycle to work to get a bit of exercise, although probably not enough. A couple of friends do Park Run eack weekend and I'd love to join them, but at the moment I suspect it would be Park Huff and Puff before Collapsing rather than actually a RUN blush.

I'm planning to start a C25K plan on Monday next week, and would love some (virtual) run buddies until I feel brave / fit enough to run with real people as well. I've seen some positive comments about the plan on here, although I think I'm still a little hmm about whether it is possible to progress like that through the weeks and actually get as far as a 5K. Still nothing ventured nothing gained.

I have running shoes somewhere at the back of the wardrobe, but might need to invest in some suitable clothing, and have a weekend of overindulgence lined up. So Monday is the day I think. First Monday of the month, and counting. I'll put a big ring around a late Sept Park Run on the calendar and start counting.....

Anyone care to join me?

Tinwe Mon 23-Sep-13 20:48:29

Well done Workate... Week 9! You're only 2 runs off finishing! Must be frustrating regarding your stats but whatever pace/distance graduation is only days away grinshockgrin

lurkingfromhome Tue 24-Sep-13 09:33:10

Oh slev, such false modesty wink. You do realise that you are our pacemaker, don't you? smile

tinwe, you know I hadn't even considered stopping for a mid-run G&T. I will now, though smile

Isn't this graduation week for several of us? workate are you going to be first over the finishing line?

I am going out for W7R1 later but am going out to meet DPs for early lunch first and don't have time to get the run in beforehand, so it will have to be a later afternoon one. I am exhausted today so hoping I perk up a bit in the course of the morning.

Perhaps today will be the day I enjoy it. Ever hopeful, that's me... will report back later. speedy slev, are you heading out today too?

workatemylife Tue 24-Sep-13 11:07:10

Nutter that I am, I went out for W9r2 today! I can't manage a run Weds or Friday this week, so I thought I would try to run M, Tue, Thurs. It was okay - I think I could feel yesterday's effort in my legs a little to start with, but once I loosened up I managed to keep on going for the 30 minutes.

I was back at the Park Run course today, most of which is on paths, so didn't suffer from soggy feet, unlike yesterday. My pace has definitely improved a bit in the last couple of weeks - not a patch on slev but I'm doing a mile in around 9mins 25 or 30 secs rather than 9 mins 40. A tiny change, but every little helps.

So, all being well, I can do the 'graduation' run on Thursday this week. Or, if I pluck up the courage to do Park Run for real, on Saturday. It would be really nice to finish on a high and make Park Run a graduation run, but it might be a bit much pressure. I've not run with a lot of people before, and I'd love to be able to claim that my graduation run was 5K in 30 mins, rather than fail to pace myself in a crowd, head out too fast, and not finish.

One thing though - I really need new trainers! Mine are old, looking a bit tatty, and I wonder if they are slightly too small. My general foot size seems to have got bigger since the DCs were born / old age set in, and I think I might need to go up in trainers as well. Maybe my graduation treat, whenever it happens, will involve some retail. I seem to remember that we were also keen on acquiring 'kit' when all this started too grin

I think I might have made too much of the nine weeks / graduation landmark though. For all the chatter about what next, I have a real feeling that this is ending now. Keeping up the momentum might be harder than I thought when the instinct is to put a tick in the 'done' box and get back to the sofa blush

slev Tue 24-Sep-13 12:44:48

workate be careful with the new trainers! I bought some last week, tried them earlier this week and got slight blisters from breaking them in but they seemed fine, and then went out again yesterday and completely wrecked my feet - the plasters slipped and it's not pretty! Plus my nice new trainers have bloodstains on them sad which is more information than I suspect you wanted. Somehow it was fine when I was running, it was when I stopped that I realised quite how bad it was. I always get it with new shoes for some reason, I think one of my feet is bigger than the other one so they always rub a bit until I break them in properly.

Anyway, that disgusting piece of news aside, the good news is I completed W6R3 last night so that's another week down. And my blister-ridden stats were that I covered 2.31 miles in 22 minutes so speed was 9.31 minutes/mile. So actually no faster than workate, despite my newly acquired reputation.

I would really recommend the music thing though to anyone that's struggling with speed. I had a bit of a mix of music going last night and I did notice myself speed up when I got to the tracks that were supposed to have the faster beat to them. I think it's just one of those subconscious things that I unintentionally slow down without something to spur me on, but with the right music, I can run quite fast - but that's why my stats vary each week.

workate do you think you will go on to do to 10k programme as well? I was having this debate with DH last night - do I just keep upping the lengths of the runs and keep at it that way, or do I move onto another programme? I kind of like the sense of achievement of feeling like I'm moving through the weeks, but I'm going to run out of programmes - unless I start training for a marathon which is most unlikely hmm

Enjoy your run lurking (yes, I said enjoy it - you never know!) - I'm going to do W7R1 on Thursday so not too far behind you!

lurkingfromhome Tue 24-Sep-13 14:57:42

Goodness me, workate, just one more run to go. Eek! It's very fitting that as the thread starter you should be first over the line with the rest of us in your wake smile.

I absolutely agree about the temptation to tick this off as a done deal and take up residence on the sofa once again. I am very very bad for this. The first time I ran regularly, I worked my way up to a 5K in a similar way to this, did the Race for Life, then literally hung up my running shoes and never went out again until three years later. Honestly, what an idiot blush.

I am determined not to do this again and to try to actually make some life changes as the whole point of this was to get fit and stay fit into middle & old age. The only problem is that unless I have a goal and a reason to push myself and achieve something more with each run I can easily see me losing momentum and just bottling out. How do you go about making this a habit rather than a project?

I was reading somewhere or other that it's best not to embark on the 5k to 10k programme until you're in the habit of running 5k a few times a week. I think I might do a bridging programme to get my speed up until I can run it in 30 mins (the way I'm going, that will take me years grin). Then I'm going to embark on the 10k programme. I hope some of you here will join me <looks around hopefully>.

Anyway, haven't even gone out for W7R1 yet so will do that now. Back with stats in a bit. Oh, and I bought a lovely new long-sleeved running top for the cooler weather that looks great and, as it turns out, is actually made out of recycled plastic bottles. This pleases me enormously!

lurkingfromhome Tue 24-Sep-13 16:31:47

Well, that was quite tough. W7R1 in my app is Run 20, Walk 3, Run5. It was quite hard to get going again for the second run when all I wanted to go was cool down, go home and have a cup of tea. That was the last of the interval runs, though. As of next time, it's warm up, run (for a minute longer each time), cool down

I attempted a small experiment with changing my gait from longer strides to more of a brisk trot. If anything, I am getting even slower smile. Only a little, mind you. There is still hope that I will break this 30 min barrier eventually. Actually I did notice that my playlist was very poorly chosen and largely consisted of songa that were all a little bit too slow. slev, I'm going to take your advice and really put together a good playlist for the next one and see if that helps.

Stats are ...

distance: 5.15 km (yaaaaasss!)
average pace: 7.33 mins/km
running pace: 6:54 mins/km

Tinwe Tue 24-Sep-13 21:09:10

Slev - your stats say you're as speedy as ever, even with blistered bloody feet! wink

Tinwe Tue 24-Sep-13 21:12:31

Nothing wrong with slow and steady Lurking- I'm adopting that approach myself. I'd been thinking the same as you about post-graduation. I'd like to get confident and consolidate the 30mins/5km running, maybe with some inclines or speedier pace then build to a 10k. If you decide to follow a plan I'll join you! smile

Tinwe Tue 24-Sep-13 21:15:00

Nearly there Workate! You should definitely treat yourself to new kit when you graduate - you'll have proved your commitment and "earned" it by then smile

Tinwe Tue 24-Sep-13 21:16:36

Ps, I think I'd be tempted to do a Parkrun as my graduation if I were you. Your times seem to be consistently bringing you in under 30 mins and you're used to the track, so, the odds are good it'd be a great finale!

Tinwe Tue 24-Sep-13 21:59:57

My update - W9R1 done.

I decided to try the same route as last run. Although it hadn't gone well last time, I wanted to get my confidence back by conquering it (was feeling a bit anxious following all my foot/ankle problems and then having to cheat on my last run)! I did it in reverse though so I did the big steep incline early (about 5 mins in) rather than spending the whole of the first 20 mins on a gentler but continuous slope. I also took it really slowly to be sure to be able to complete the whole 30 mins non stop this time. I also swapped music for a podcast to keep me distracted.

Bit of a gamble all round but I actually... wait for it... ENJOYED IT!

The podcast was great (and I'm going to stick with them for now) but I don't think it helped my speed at all! It was such a good distraction though I was really surprised when my app called time - I could've kept going for a lot longer! grin

Stats: running time only

30 mins, 4.7km at 6.3mins/ km or 2.9miles at 10.2mins/mile

lurkingfromhome Wed 25-Sep-13 08:29:39

tinwe! You are not only a Proper Runner but you have had the inaugural Enjoyable Run of the team! flowers Very well done. The finishing line is in sight for you too now.

Interesting what you say about the podcast. I was pondering that yesterday. What I have done is downloaded an app that has all sorts of different mixes at specific bpm. I'm going to try to use that for the next little while to get my speed up. I'm working on the assumption that if I have constant music at the right bpm, that might spur me on a bit. We'll see how that goes. I think I might use podcasts when I start on the 10k programme though. What are you listening to? I wonder what would be most distracting ...

Also, I have started to do a little research into what I could do for a bit before embarking on a 5k to 10k programme (I can't believe I just typed that ... grin). I found some worrying things on forums about how long it might take to get to a 30-minute 5k. One person said it took them two years after completing the C25K programme. I was hoping more like 3 weeks!

However, I've found an app that is actually an 8-week 5k improver programme. Every run is different and is a mixture of walking, slow running, normal running and sprinting intervals, probably with a few hills too. It is supposed to be the best way to achieve a more efficient (ie faster) 5k. I don't really want to spend 8 weeks on it, though, so I'm thinking do that for 3 or 4 weeks then embark on 10k training (just as the weather is going to be getting quite horrible, no doubt).

tinwe it would be great if you could join me and if our team here could keep going in some way. grin

Tinwe Wed 25-Sep-13 12:30:48

Aw Lurking! You really made me smile, thanks for the cheerleading smile

The 5k improver sounds interesting. Count me in!

Tinwe Wed 25-Sep-13 12:32:08

Oh and I listened to Chris Evans breakfast show on Radio 2. It was the Eusain Bolt episode grin

workatemylife Wed 25-Sep-13 15:59:39

well done tinwe - great effort, and I think, as has been said already, the first 'I had fun' run. Progress indeed. Bolt, watch out behind you. The C25K ladies are coming!
slev thanks for the warning on shoes. I wasn't planning to get new shoes this week, but it would be a shame if the graduation retail therapy ended in pain, or if the plan to keep going was thwarted on run number 1. I have weird feet too. Ouch ouch though. How can you run as fast as the rest of us with bleeding feet?!
woohoo lurking you covered the distance. Brilliant. Another landmark.

I'm glad I'm not alone in needing a target to keep up the motivation. I ran a Race for Life a few years ago and then went on to a half marathon (!!) at which point I decided enough was enough and went back to being a couch potato (and pregnant). I don't want this to happen again, so I need to keep the buzz. Like you, this is my bid for a healthy middle age, and an attempt to get some 'me-time' doing something other than eating chocolate cake.

I don't have the time to invest in training for another half marathon. I don't even know if I have the time to invest in 10K training, with work and family life to consider. So I think my focus needs to be 5K, probably using Park Run as a goal. If I can do my local Park Run in 30 minutes on race day, I'll be really chuffed. After that, maybe I need one of the plans that you're talking about to try to improve the time. Each minute drop would require a lot of effort, but that might be the thing that keeps me moving, literally. The whole thing seems set up really well - informal and friendly, but with little incentives to aim for, like T-shirts and stickies on the website if you complete certain numbers of runs, a little 'PB' stickie for the fastest time, charts and stats etc. I doubt I'll ever get down to a 25 minute 5K, but maybe seeing the figures stack up over a few weeks / months would be incentive enough.

Still, tomorrow first. eeek.

lurkingfromhome Wed 25-Sep-13 17:32:11

That's the thing, isn't it ... a 5k doesn't actually demand too much of our time and going out for half an hour can be fairly easily fitted into our lifestyles, whatever they involve.

Working up to running for an hour at a time (and keeping that going afterwards) is actually quite a commitment in terms of time. I'm going to give it a go, as not having DC and working from home already make it more of a feasible prospect (although sometimes when I have huge deadlines to meet, I can barely find time to get dressed, never mind go out running for an hour...). But yes, my focus is definitely on mastering the 5ks first smile. The app I found that I quite like the look of is called 5k Forever, so I'll be investigating that further in a week or two. Eeeek!

You kept your half-marathon background very quiet, workate! What an amazing achievement!

Good luck for tomorrow and your graduation run. We can have a virtual ceremony on your return smile

lurkingfromhome Thu 26-Sep-13 11:14:27

Back from W7R2. I used the new podcast with a mix of music at the same ideal BPM but it was awful - really rubbish beepy techno nonsense that got so beepy and techno at one point that it was making me feel a bit sick trying to keep up with it so I had to switch it off.

I do realise how much of a old lady that makes me sound, by the way. I am reminding myself of my dad when he used to shout "Do you call THAT music?" when I used to watch Top of the Pops.

Anyway, stats:

distance: 4.99km (gaaaaah!)

*run speed*: 6.49 mins/km (which would have me doing a 5k in 32.45 - not too dreadful - surely I can knock a couple of minutes off that in four weeks???)

*enjoyment factor*: limited

Also, two good things:

(i) I registered for Parkrun today. Won't actually do it for another month, I think, but feel pleased with myself to even be registering for it.

(ii) When I was out this morning and the voice in my app said "10 minutes remaining" I thought "Thank goodness I'm on the last 10". Imagine that - I couldn't even run for 10 minutes a few weeks ago and now it marks the last section of the run and is a sign that I'm on the home stretch. That makes me happy.

Where are you all? grin

workatemylife Thu 26-Sep-13 13:13:19

I'm here lurking (but yes, it seems quiet at the moment). FANTASTIC. The distance is spot on (I'm sure your app in not that precise), you kept going, AND you've registered for Park Run. I hope enjoyment follows. I'm sure the pace will increase in the final couple of weeks. A few folk here have said that it take a good 5-10 mins to get into your running stride, and after that it all gets easier, so slightly longer runs probably give the impression of being faster. I know what you mean about the progress from the start of the programme though. Every time I get cheesed off with myself for finding it a struggle it helps to remember that this time ten weeks ago it would have been nigh on impossible. Great going.

I know how you feel though about the music. I once borrowed DHs Mp3 player and had to turn it off. I thought we had similar tastes, but his running music brought out the granny in me too!

My half marathon history is just that. A decade ago - when I was a different age, and a different person leading a different life. And I can't claim that I finished in style! I'm annoyed that once upon a time I could do that and now I can't, but I think for that reason I will limit ambitions this time and stick with the time that I have to invest rather than grand plans that won't be fulfilled. I looked at the app that you had found, but I have an android phone, so probably can't use that one. Still, if a few of us are going to carry on, we can chivvy each other along grin

workatemylife Thu 26-Sep-13 13:24:41


Well, that's that folks! C25K finished! I am, apparently, a runner! (just not a very good one. Yet. I WILL persevere!) I can't believe how fast the time has gone, or that I actually stuck with the plan and went from couch to 30 minutes of running, given my well honed skills in lounging around on the sofa.

I went out this morning and did the Park Run course. I wondered about using Saturday's event to 'graduate', but the weather forecast is rubbish, and I'd be really disappointed if we ended up not going. So today was a little private graduation among the dog walkers - I'll see what Saturday brings.

According to MapMyRun (in which I have precious little faith, given recent history, but I like the stats on this one so I'm claiming it as truth, even though it looks a little hmm):

To the end of Mile 1: 9 mins dead (!!!)
To the end of Mile 2: 18 minutes 22 secs
To the end of Mile 3: 27 minutes 52 seconds
To the end of 3.1 miles / 5km: 28 minutes 58 seconds grin

At the risk of delivering an Oscars speech - thank you very much ladies. I would NOT be here without you

Right. Who is next? I am going to keep up with this if I can, and would love to keep you as my running buddies.

Tinwe Thu 26-Sep-13 14:27:57

Congratulations Workate! �� �� ☕️Great distance and speed, you'll blow them away at Park Run! grin

Well done Lurking, you'll be graduating in a flash. I think you can count 4.99km as a 5k anyway through rounding up wink

It'll be tricky for me to extend my runs to an hour too (with family commitments) but I hope to invest no more than an hour each run and then as I get fitter go longer distances within the time and maybe even start to reduce that time if I ever reach 10k.

Going to try to get out later for W9R2 with another podcast. It might make me slow but hopefully will keep me going.

lurkingfromhome Thu 26-Sep-13 17:13:02

Yaaaaaay! Very well done, workate - absolutely fantastic. Our first graduation flowers. Hurrah! Ooh, I feel quite emotional grin

Tinwe, looks like you'll be next. Good luck for the penultimate run smile

Saturday morning will be my next one, then Monday, Wednesday, Friday next week. Hope everyone will hang around until speedy slev and I drag ourselves over the finishing line. Then we might need a new thread!

Tinwe Fri 27-Sep-13 04:47:09

Update: Didn't run today due to poorly babies and I've now been up all night throwing up so I doubt I'll be out tomorrow either. DH is away all weekend on a stag do, so I imagine I won't run again til next Monday now sad

Tinwe Fri 27-Sep-13 10:48:36

Anyone around to talk to me and share a proxy run so I don't feel guilty while I lie here groaning? grin

lurkingfromhome Fri 27-Sep-13 11:27:46

I am but only just as am going out in 5 minutes (although not for a run!). So sorry to hear you are throwing up, gaaaah. You poor sausage. Have you caught a bug of some sort?

Probably best you take it easy for a couple of days as the Vomity Horrors can really take it out of you. Anyway, you'll still be finishing ahead of me grin

Tinwe Fri 27-Sep-13 11:33:52

Thanks Lurking, hope you have a good day. I ache all over now. Won't be running til next week at least. Very frustrating as I'm only 2 runs away from graduation hmm

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